It sounds an unlikely alliance; the sleepy, Victorian village of Ford in Northumberland and the smart town of Sestri Levante on the Italian Riviera.
But over a long weekend in November, the delights of Ligurian cuisine will come to The Old Dairy in Ford courtesy of Giuliano Piscina, who is leaving his restaurant behind to cook with Keith and Lynne Allan, who run their own small bistro.
“Wonderful wines, extra virgin olive oil, pesto, focaccia andarinata, a bread made with chickpea flour, are just a few of the culinary creations heading our way,” said the Allans.
“We met Giuliano at the famous Splendido Hotel in Portofino where he was restaurant manager, but he always wanted to run his own place so for the last five years he’s been doing just that in Sestri Levante.
“We go there and it’s a fantastic place.”
The Allans have been developing their Old Dairy bistro in the last few months with two and three-course lunches at weekends and doing occasional pop-up suppers and dinners using guest chefs and cooks to bring an extra dimension to their menus.
Much of their produce is garden-grown; they are surrounded by game from the Ford & Etal Estate and belted Galloway beef in the fields around them and Giuliano is keen to add his own touch to the local ingredients.
The Allans added: “Our hope is that Giuliano will make regular trips to cook with us during the winter months so we are praying for another mild winter.”
Naturally, the menu will be Ligurian influenced and consist of four courses at £40 per head to include coffee and tea. Drinks and wine are extra.
The dates are Friday, Saturday and Sunday, November 13, 14 and 15.
Call 01890 820325 for bookings and more details or visit theolddairyinford.co.uk